ALCOHOL & DRUG ABUSE

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Breaking Free & Staying Free

“I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

Isaiah 41:13

They call it “the good life”—the pleasures of swimming in a sea of alcohol; or drugs…. Habitual use of drugs and alcohol often results in addiction. The drinker’s inadequacies, faults, and problems become intensified, and often personality changes result. Feeling confident when under the influence of alcohol, they are often immature, insecure, and afflicted by guilt and depression.

They typically do not feel good about themself and cannot face the challenges, addiction and the problems it creates; so they deny the problem and is dishonest in covering it up and in blaming it on others, work, or the “bad breaks” of life.  This deviousness and denial leads to a masquerade in life that at times assumes almost comic, though actually tragic, overtones.

Alcoholics desperately need help. Alcoholics Anonymous maintains that until alcoholics hit rock bottom, admitting their life is out of control, there is little hope of any change. Admitting that there is a problem is the first step on the road to recovery.

A drug is any substance which produces physical, mental, or psychological changes in the user. Since earliest times, people have experimented with drugs in an effort to escape reality. Today hundreds of millions of people are involved in drugs which range all the way from mildly addictive caffeine to illegal, deeply addictive drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

Anyone can become physically and psychologically addicted to any drug if exposed to high dosages for a sufficient period of time.

Drug users come from all walks of life. Many of the roots of dependency are to be found in insecurity, fear, guilt, disappointments, immorality and deviant sexual behavior, frustration, stress, peer pressures, and intense competition, as exemplified in professional sports. Add to these the great spiritual vacuum which has resulted in a breakdown of moral standards, the disintegration of the home, four major wars in this century, and the staggering availability of drugs of every kind to every age group, including grade school children.

Drug dependency is a problem of the whole person—spiritual, physical, emotional, and social. Once addicted, the dependent lives in an illusory world characterized by paralyzed feelings and emotional responses, mental denials and delusions, social isolation, and spiritual limbo. For many it is a helpless state, a life of no return.

The effort to withdraw from a drug addiction can be very painful, both physically and psychologically. Unmonitored withdrawal can be dangerous. Getting free from dependency, and the subsequent rehabilitation, is usually a long-term process. A strong support system involving the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical is needed.

In order to be helped spiritually, the drug dependent must desire to be helped and must take some initial step to seek such help.  We should seek his or her commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This initial step of faith should lead to a new perspective and motivation for the user, which will lead, hopefully, to rehabilitation and a life of wholeness.  Even after commitment to Christ, however, there is often a need to work on the personal issues that led to the addiction, such as a poor self-image, insecurity, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, immorality, fear, or guilt.

What Is Substance Abuse?

  • Substance abuse means the use of a chemical—legal or illegal—used to the extent of causing physical, mental, or emotional harm.
  • Substance abusers are identified in five ways:
  • Experimental users ... try drugs simply out of curiosity.
  • Recreational users ... “get high” on drugs on special occasions (parties, celebrations).
  • Regular users ... habitually abuse drugs, while attempting to live a “normal life.”
  • Binge users ... abuse drugs uncontrollably for a brief period of time and then abstain until the next binge.
  • Dependent users ... live emotionally, physically, and psychologically hooked on drugs. Their lives are continually obsessed with getting drugs because of their all-consuming addiction.

“Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” 

(Proverbs 20:1)

 

Deliverance from Dependency

  • Admit you are powerless over your dependency.  (2 Corinthians 1:9)
  • Realize that the God, who made you and saved you, has the power to restore you. (Psalm 71:20–21)
  • Yield your will to the will of the Lord. (Proverbs 3:5–6)
  • Face reality—face your true self. (Psalm 139:23–24)
  • Admit your struggle with sin, both to God and to someone else.(1 John 1:8)
  • Accept God’s help to change your patterns of the past.  (1 Peter 5:6–7)
  • Confess your defects and daily failings. (Psalm 51:10–12)
  • Ask forgiveness of those you have offended.  (Matthew 5:23–24)
  • Make restitution where you have wronged others.  (Ezekiel 33:15–16)
  • Keep a clean slate when you realize you have been wrong.(Titus 2:11–12)
  • Pray to know God’s path for your life. (Psalm 25:4–5)
  • Reach out to others with your hand and your heart.  (Galatians 6:2)

  

Seven Don’ts for Deliverance

  1. Don’t fight addiction on your own. Participate in a legitimate recovery program. (Ecclesiastes 4:9–10)

2. Don’t be blind about your ability to lie to yourself and to others! (Jeremiah 17:9)

3. Don’t socialize with those who encourage your habit.

(1 Corinthians 15:33)

4. Don’t worry about the future. Walk with God one day at a time. ( Matthew 6:34)

5. Don’t give up if you relapse. (1 John 1:9)

6. Don’t become prideful as you succeed in the recovery process. (Proverbs 16:18)

7. Don’t be surprised at temptation! (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Spiritual Steps

  • Decide, the time to begin your recovery is today. (Hebrews 3:15)
  • Realize, recovery is a lifelong process, not a onetime event. (Philippians 3:12)
  • Pray daily for victory! (Matthew 26:41)
  • Read your Bible every day. (Psalm 119:28)
  • Meditate on Scripture. (Psalm 119:11)
  • Attend church every week. (Hebrews 10:24–25)
  • Share your struggles with caring loved ones. (James 5:16)
  •  Have confidence in God! Prioritize growing in your relationship with Him. (Matthew 6:33)
  • Depend on Christ’s strength to stay drug free. (Philippians 4:13)
  • Know that permanent change is possible. (Matthew 19:26)

 

Set Beneficial Boundaries ... with the One Addicted

  • Give up all expectations of the addict. (Psalm 62:5)
  • Learn to detach from the addict’s problem, and maintain control of your own life. (Psalm 25:15)
  • Shift your focus from the addict’s behavior to your responses. (Lamentations 3:40)
  • Learn all you can about drug abuse. (Proverbs 16:16)
  • Stop acts that are enabling, and hold your loved one accountable. (Ecclesiastes 4:10)
  • Let the addict know the effects of the addiction on you and on others. (Ephesians 4:25)
  • Pray for and expect God to bring consequences

 

The Power of Prayer ... on Behalf of the One Addicted 

  • Pray with thanksgiving for what God has done for both you and your loved one. (Philippians 4:6–7) 
  • Pray for God to reveal any harmful responses on your part. (Psalm 51:6) 
  • Pray for a sincere love for the struggler and that both of you would love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Matthew 5:44; 22:37)
  • Pray for strongholds to be broken and for the ground given to drugs to be reclaimed by God. (2 Corinthians 10:4–5)
  • Pray for faith that, with God, lasting change can occur and God will be glorified. (Mark 10:27)
  • Pray for the struggler to be filled with the knowledge of God and to live a life worthy of Him and pleasing to Him.
  • (Colossians 1:9–11)
  • Pray with consistency and persistence, realizing the supernatural power of God is essential in the life of your loved one. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) 

 

Key Verse to Learn

“I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” 

(Isaiah 41:13)

 

Key Passage to Read

1 Corinthians chapter 10

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RELATED TOPICS

Abuse Recovery

Codependency

Depression

Domestic Violence

Habits & Addictions

Self-Worth

Temptation

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